* Media, dpl community to be periodically briefed
* Government strategy practical
The government’s strategy for implementation of the recommendations contained in the Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission is practical and action-oriented, and the financial resources required for this purpose will be released by the Treasury, External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris said on Tuesday.
He made this statement when he called on Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith at Archbishop’s House.
The allocation of funds will be made in respect of each of the ministries, departments and statutory bodies tasked with implementation of different sections of the Report, the minister explained.
Commenting on the unprecedentedly large number of high level foreign visits to Sri Lanka in recent weeks, the minister said that the government’s policy of allowing and indeed facilitating open access to the Northern Province and all other parts of the country had brought in its wake substantial benefits to the country.
This has enabled visitors of the calibre of Lord Naseby, Special Representative of the Japanese government Ambassador Yasushi Akashi and ten members of the British Parliament to share with the international community their first-hand impressions of the progress on the ground.
Many of them had indicated that comparable progress in post-conflict situations in other parts of the world had taken more than a decade, the minister observed. Prof. Peiris explained that the Universal Periodic Review process applies to all 192 members of the United Nations, each of whom comes up for review every four and a half years. He described in detail the steps taken by the government in this regard, and the course of action contemplated for the future.
The Minister provided Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith with an account of the role which the government envisaged for the Parliamentary Select Committee, and the essential function of that Committee in relation to the overall political process.
He informed Cardinal Ranjith that the government would continue from time to time the practice of holding briefing sessions for local and foreign media, as well as for the diplomatic community, as the implementation process moves forward. The minister emphasized the importance of the role of religious leaders as a unifying force in strengthening this process, and said that the government appreciates such advice and guidance.
Cardinal Ranjith assured the Minister of the readiness of the Church to assist national initiatives in any constructive manner. The Minister thanked His Eminence for his perceptive insights regarding the current situation and suggestions regarding the way forward.
Source: Daily News (29th August 2012)